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The oldest document reporting the use of herbs is the Ebers Papyrus which is dated as being from around 1,500BC. This Egyptian scroll, measuring nearly 20 meters in length, lists some 700 magical formulae and remedies. Undoubtedly herbs were being used long before this official report and throughout the centuries have been a powerful element in diet, medicine and magic. They have been used to flavour food, make perfumes, create potions and spells and to serve countless medical and spiritual needs.
Although any part of the plant might be considered for herbal medicine – flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, berries, resin or bark, in culinary use, only the leafy green parts are classed as herbal; other portions serve as spices. This exquisite album is a portrayal of herbs in all their floral glory. It discovers anecdotes, traditional lore, historical comment and a long-lost era of superstition and magic, together with many ideas and hints on how to get the best from your herbs, be it in your cooking or as an alternative medicine.
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